What will happen to Catalonia?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Two or so weeks ago the poll on what readers think Catalonia should do ended, and it was surprisingly close to the actual results of the referendum / consultation:

Yes, I want Catalonia to become a State, and for it to be independent.
  80 (57%)
Yes, I want Catalonia to become a State, but not independent.
  25 (18%)
No, I do not want Catalonia to become a State.
  33 (23%)

Nombre de votes jusqu'à présent : 138

So that was quite interesting. Now the consultation is over and Spain is not happy with the results, calling it a illegal, a waste of time, a clear sign that support for independence is low (taking into account the overall turnout), etc.

Okay, so one more question on Catalonia. What *will* happen to Catalonia? Will it stay in Spain, leave it, leave it and violence will occure, etc. etc. Sometimes referendums/a occur where independence later happens, but sometimes there are votes for independence that just end up with some extra automony and everyone decides that this is actually a fine state of affairs after all. Make your predictions!


Germany in 1912: Images 306 to 310

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hamburg - The unloading of charcoal. -- This operation will soon only be done automatically, just as it is done in America.

Hamburg -- The bronze fountain that stands in the middle of the Rathaus courtyard, is of a rather original and pretty character.

Hagenbeck's Menagerie: Some of the turtles can be sold for quite a sum, those such as flat turtles and alligator turtles. The testuda geometrica is worth up to 30 francs.

Hagenbeck's Menagerie: The bottle-feeding of lion cubs. -- Mr. Hagenbeck has had goats that have nourished tigers, and female tigers that nourish dogs.

Hagenbeck's Earthly Paradise is a set of gardens, ponds, rocks and mountains where his fierce animals roam free.


One of the better jobs out there

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A new Assassin's Creed has just come out and this one is based in Paris at the time of the revolution, and one person's job working for Ubisoft was to delve through the historical archives to reconstruct Paris as it was at the time.

Et dans la mesure où rien ou presque ne persiste du Paris du 18e siècle, l'historien a dû tout reconstruire de zéro:

«[...] prendre des archives, des peintures, des gravures... C'était mon boulot. Leur montrer tout ce que nous avions en terme de culture visuelle. Pour être capable de le reconstuire.»
It ranks up there with whoever is in charge of making a trip to Slovenia from Slovakia or vice versa every months to exchange the mistakenly delivered mail.


New estimate for world French population: 274 million

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Every once in a while la Francophonie or some other group gets together and a study is released that gives us an estimate of the world's French population. The first one I noted on Page F30 was one from 2007 or so that estimated the number of speakers at 200 million, with 500 million more expected 50 years from then. Then one from 2010 gave us an estimate of 220 million, which at around 7 million extra speakers a year is around in line with that.

Now it's late 2014 and another report is coming out called La langue française dans le monde, which gives the approximate number of French speakers at 274 million. The report itself can be found on this page (in French, English, Arabic, Spanish and (European) Portuguese). Meanwhile articles such as this and this one give an even shorter summary. The second article has charts too.

Some points from the articles:

-- French speakers have increased by 7% from 2010 to 2014, reaching 274 million. So their previous estimate in 2010 was a bit over 250 million.
-- French is still losing prominence in international organizations in spite of this. In the EU 90% of documents are originally written in English.
-- French speakers are up 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. No surprise that the rate of increase is greater there.
-- French is the third-most used language on Amazon, fourth in number of internet users, sixth in number of papges, and sixth-most used language on YouTube.

Also ignore the part of the second article where it says French is the fifth most spoken, because French here is listed after 1. Mandarin 2. English 3. Spanish 4. "Arabic and Hindi". Sticking to the report itself is probably best.


Francophone new residents in Alberta up 50% in 2013 compared to 2012

Saturday, November 08, 2014

This article is kind of funny because of the local nature and small numbers it deals with - Francophones in Alberta went up 50% in 2013 compared to the year before, reaching a grand total of...226 new residents that year. And not only that, it even breaks it down by country including a helpful bar chart. Haiti went from 9 to 14!

The largest number: France with 83, up from 44.


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